The Orphan Works law which most graphic artists have been so worried about has quietly been killed tabled in the House, in the midst of all the other Congressional foofaraw this week:

Late Friday, the Senate passed the measure and sent it to the House, where it landed dead on arrival.

The act changes the rules and reduces and sometimes nullifies damages for infringing uses of so-called “orphaned” works as long as there was a “diligent” effort to locate the copyright owner. Orphaned creative works are those in which the copyright holder cannot be promptly located.

Lobbyists have assured Threat Level that the House, which is mired in trying to broker an economic revival package, won’t take up the measure, at least not until after the November elections.

Dozens of copyright groups opposed the measure, saying it encourages infringement. Copyright expert Lawrence Lessig was against it as well. He said the bill was too vague when it comes to defining how “diligent” of an effort is required to locate a copyright owner before a work is infringed upon.

Seems to us we have a lot more to worry about besides the entirely bogus example of Granny’s wedding photos.


  1. As a creator(wanna be?) I fully expect them to try and screw us with this when they think no one is looking, like they did it in the Senate. So I expect this thing to reappear like the the evil twin everyone thought was dead, in 2009.